In November of 2017, two grieving parents founded SAFE Project U.S. in memory of their son, Jonathan, who died of an opioid overdose during his freshman year of college.
“The whole reason we founded SAFE Project was to have the ability to prevent other families from experiencing the tragedy that we experienced,” said Sandy Winnefeld, co-founder of The SAFE Project. “When the time comes and you decide that your loved one needs to go into treatment, it’s crisis.”
Jonathan spent ten days in a psych ward while his parents frantically searched through thousands of treatment facilities. “There’s not a lot of good information out there to help families or friends steer that person to a place that’s most suited for them because every person is different, every treatment facility, is different and it’s really hard to find a good match,” said Winnefeld.
Last week SAFE unveiled its Treatment Locator, a free, personalized database of questions that narrow down options based on a person’s age, gender, payment options, zip code, and more.
No treatment centers have any advantage in the web application. SAFE compares the user’s information to every state-accredited treatment center in the country that is included in the SAMHSA database.
Once the perfect version of the Treatment Locator is finalized, Winnefeld says SAFE hopes to roll out three more treaatment locators for college graduates, veterans and their families, and those in need of recovery housing.